Is Bordeaux the best city of France ?

Bordeaux, Place Gambetta


Forget Paris, Lyon and Marseille – Bordeaux is the French city with everything


It’s simple to reach by rail

As of today the train journey between London and Bordeaux will be cut to just under six hours, bringing the pleasures of the city, and the surrounding region, within much easier reach.It will be possible to do the journey from London by Eurostar and TGV in just five hours 55mins.


The Queen of England is a fan

“The very essence of elegance,” concluded The Queen last time she visited Bordeaux.

Our expert Giles Milton adds: “Stroll the most graceful streets in France, eat well, drink better and then have the liveliest possible time in a city lately in touch with its Latin side.


Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse


The food is incredible

Joel Robuchon, the French chef who runs La Grande Maison, found in the city, writes: “Bordeaux has produce that is world-famous: oysters from the Bay of Arcachon; milk-fed Pauillac lamb, grazed on the Médoc marshes; and cèpes de Bordeaux, in my opinion the best mushrooms in France. They grow superb raspberries just a few kilometres from here; they rear ducks for magret de canard (duck breast); and the asparagus, too, is wonderful.”


And day trips galore

Naturally, you’ll want to take a wine trip out of town. “I’d consider going on one of the Tourist Office’s jaunts,” says Milton. “This saves the hassle of hiring a car or otherwise making your own arrangements. It also gets you a vineyard ride in a coach and two good wine château visits.”


It’s got the world’s greatest wine museum

“Bordeaux is wine capital of the world,” confirms Anthony Peregrine. “You name a reasonable rival and we might discuss it, but I can’t think of one.”

Since 2016 it has also been home to Cité du Vin wine museum. Peregrine’s verdict? “It may look like the shiny foot of a cartoon character but it is a world-beater; certainly the best wine centre I’ve encountered. Granted, competition is not intense. Most wine museums are dreadful.

It is mesmerising evidence of how vineyards adapt to landscapes, then re-define not only the land but also the architecture – and indeed, the associated lives. This isn’t a museum of Bordeaux wine but Bordeaux’s museum of world wine. So the claim to wine capital status is enhanced.”


Wine Museum in Bordeaux